ANZ to begin replacing 737s with new A320s

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Air New Zealand (ANZ) will receive the first of an order of 14 Airbus A320s today, as it begins replacing its Boeing 737-300s with the new narrowbodies.

The first A320, registration ZK-OAB and painted in a special all-black livery, will touch down at Auckland Airport this afternoon, says the Star Alliance carrier.

Configured with 171 seats, the A320s will increase ANZ's domestic capacity by almost 30%. Its 737s have 133 seats each.

"The first four will be delivered this year and the remaining ten progressively through until 2016, coinciding with the expiry of our current 737-300 aircraft leases," says ANZ's general manager Scott Carr.

ANZ already operates 12 A320s, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database.

The aircraft it will receive today will arrive in Auckland after a three-day journey from Airbus' manufacturing facilities in Toulouse via Gander, Denver, Los Angeles and Samoa.